Dubai: Consular services at the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai will be temporarily suspended for two days, on May 9-10, next week to allow the conduct of the last days of Philippine overseas voting and subsequent counting of votes.
The Philippine Consulate, however, will remain open on Monday for the conclusion of the month-long Philippine Overseas Voting (OV), which started on April 10.
During the closure, passport application and renewal, visa processing, civil registry, notarial services and authentication of documents will remain suspended. “Only emergency cases will be accommodated,” the Philippine Consulate posted on its official Facebook account today. The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi has not made any announcement yet.
Last day of voting
Meanwhile, a consulate spokesperson said polling precincts in Dubai will close on Monday, May 9, at 3pm (UAE time), synchronised with the closing of elections in the Philippines at 7pm (Philippine time).
The actual national elections in the Philippines is on May 9, but overseas Filipinos were given one month to cast their ballot. There are about 1.7 million registered overseas Filipino voters all over the world. Dubai PCG has the maximum number of registered overseas voters, with a total of 191,779 voters. The Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi has 117,840 Filipino expatriates eligible to vote.
Overseas Filipinos will also choose the next president, vice-president, 12 senators and a party-list representative.
Vying for presidency
Ten candidates are vying to become the next Philippine president for a six-year term. Among the candidates are opposition stalwart Leni Robredo, who is also the current vice-president of the Philippines and the only woman among the presidential candidates; boxing icon and incumbent senator Manny Pacquiao; Manila Mayor Isko Moreno; incumbent senator Panfilo Lacson; former undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella; labour leader Leody de Guzman; former secretary of National Defence Norberto Gonzales; businessman Faisal Mangondato; lawyer/doctor Jose Montemayor; and former senator Bongbong Marcos.